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This Nation Could Soon See Its First Offshore Oil

Woodside Petroleum, operator of the Sangomar block offshore Senegal, has submitted the development plan for what would be the West African country’s first offshore oilfield, paving the way for a final investment decision on the project.  

Woodside Petroleum submitted the plan and the request for exploitation authorization of Sangomar, formerly SNE, to the Government of Senegal on Monday, the Australian firm said in a statement on Tuesday.

Phase one of the development plan targets oil resources estimated at 230 million barrels, with first oil guidance set for early 2023, Woodside Petroleum said. The concept chosen for Phase 1 is a standalone floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility with 23 subsea wells and supporting subsea infrastructure, expected to have total capacity of around 100,000 bpd.

Woodside continues to target a final investment decision (FID) for 2019, but the decision could be complicated by a dispute between Woodside, operator and holder of 35 percent in Sangomar, and minority shareholder Far Limited, which has a 15-percent interest in the development.

Far Limited also announced on Tuesday the filing of the plan and request for exploitation authorization, saying that the field will be developed in a series of phases with plans for 645 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which 485 million barrels are of oil, to be developed.

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“Developing this world class oil field in Senegal, the largest global hydrocarbon discovery in 2014, has the potential to transform FAR from explorer to material producer and become one of the largest ASX-listed oil producers in early 2023,” Far said in a statement.

The dispute between joint venture partners Far and Woodside could be resolved as soon as the end of December, according to Reuters, which could potentially make the FID among partners less complicated.

Far, which discovered the field in 2014, contends that it was denied a pre-emptive right to buy a 35-percent stake in it from ConocoPhillips. Far and Woodside have taken the dispute to international arbitration and a ruling is expected by December 28. According to analysts who spoke to Reuters, the resolution of this dispute would help clear the picture as to how much each of the partners will have to spend on the project, which is expected to cost US$4.2 billion.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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